Brooklyn Boro

Mourning another victim of COVID-19: A poetic tribute to the loss of the NYC Marathon

June 30, 2020 Jeremy Friedman
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Marathon Lost

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To stop spreading the virus,
social distancing has defeated the long-distance run
This year the New York City Marathon is gone

There will be no feet chasing feats on the urban streets
Cancelled by concerns over conditions of contagion
Like Wimbledon across the pond
Winnerless with no 2020 edition

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Now November will know no richness
in imagery of masses crossing over bridges
shoes pounding pavement of the 5 boroughs
making new history in the old new city

Staten Island will be static only
where the pack would’ve started the journey
Manhattan’s eyes will see no man or woman champion
triumphantly traversing the ribbon, the finish line

26.2 miles of hope, heart, agony, exhaustion,
groans growing into satisfaction, tired smiles
There may be virtual runs running on digital apps,
but no real-life bites at the Big Apple road track

No chance to be a part of it this year
Only apart from it
No race by skyscraper buildings
in the place defined by competition

No just-happy-to-finish stragglers
No runners-up running late, if only by seconds
Like commuters scrambling to catch a train
at the same location on any other day

In the City that never sleeps
where everything is measured in numbers
this year health measures were needed, so more don’t fall sick
And the race’s clock won’t ever start to tick

Jeremy Friedman is a lawyer and poet, whose poetry profile is available online at

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